Tigers Return Home to Face Cross-town Rival Southern

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
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Tigers Return Home to Face Cross-town Rival Southern

BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU (31-14) begins a seven-game homestand Tuesday as the Tigers play host to Southern (22-14) at 6:30 p.m. in Alex Box Stadium.

The LSU-Southern game can be heard on the LSU Sports Network (98.1 FM in Baton Rouge) and on the Internet at www.LSUsports.net.

The game will be televised by Cox Sports Television (Cable Ch. 37 in Baton Rouge).

LSU won its third straight SEC series last weekend, capturing two of three games at #25 Vanderbilt. The Tigers have won seven of their last eight conference games and trail Alabama by one game in the SEC Western Division race.

The Vanderbilt series completed a seven-game road stretch for LSU in which the Tigers posted a 5-2 mark against three ranked teams — Tulane, Arkansas and Vanderbilt. LSU also has played 14 of its last 15 games against ranked teams — the Tigers registered a 9-6 mark during the 15-game period.

LSU coach Smoke Laval will send junior right-hander Justin Meier (1-2, 3.81) ERA to the mound on Tuesday. Meier will make his fourth start of the season and his first since April 6 versus Rice at Zephyr Field in Metairie, La.

Southern defeated Prairie View, 7-6, in 12 innings Sunday to clinch the Southwestern Athletic Conference Western Division title. The Jaguars, led by coach Roger Cador, are batting .310 as a team with 36 home runs. Infielder Kevin Nelson is hitting .374 on the year with five homers and 33 RBI.

Tuesday’s game marks the final regular-season contest of the year for Southern. The Jaguars will play in the SWAC Tournament May 19-22 in Birmingham, Ala.

LSU junior left-hander Greg Smith pitched a magnificent seven-hit shutout on Sunday as the Tigers posted a 3-0 win to clinch the series victory at Vanderbilt. Smith, who threw 96 pitches, limited the Commodores to only seven hits while recording no walks and four strikeouts.

Smith, who has fired 25.2 consecutive scoreless innings, also blanked Arkansas on April 24 by scattering eight hits. The scoreless innings streak, which began in the second inning against Ole Miss on April 17, is the longest by an LSU pitcher since Ben McDonald fired 44.2 straight scoreless innings in 1989.

Senior right fielder Nick Stavinoha paced the Tigers at the plate in the Vanderbilt series, batting .500 (7-for-14) with two doubles, two homers, four RBI and three runs. He drove in all three runs in the Tigers’ 3-0 win at Vanderbilt Sunday with a two-run homer and a fielder’s choice grounder.

Stavinoha, who has raised his cumulative average to .370, is second on the squad with 13 homers, and he is tied for the team lead in RBI (46) and doubles (18).

LSU leads the all-time series with Southern, 39-1. The Jaguars’ only win in the series came in 2001, when SU defeated the Tigers, 11-6, in Alex Box Stadium.

LSU posted a 21-10 win over Southern last season at SU’s Lee-Hines Field.

GAME FACTS
Southern Jaguars (22-14) at # 8 LSU Fighting Tigers (31-14)

DATE/TIME:
Tuesday, May 3 — 6:30 p.m. CDT

STADIUM:
Alex Box Stadium (7,760)

TICKETS:
Available at Alex Box Stadium beginning at 4:30 p.m. — $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 3-12.

PROMOTIONS:
Tuesday “Dollar Days” promotion — 32-ounce tubs of popcorn are just $1, and hot dogs are $1 with the purchase of a Tiger Gulp drink. All children ages 12 and under are invited to stand on the field with the Tigers during the National Anthem

RANKINGS:
LSU (# 8 ESPN/Sports Weekly, # 13 Collegiate Baseball, # 16 Baseball America);
Southern (unranked)

RADIO:
LSU Sports Network (WDGL 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge)

INTERNET:
Radio broadcast and live stats at www.LSUsports.net

TV:
Cox Sports Television (Cable Ch. 37 in Baton Rouge)

SERIES RECORD:
LSU leads, 39-1

PITCHING MATCHUP
LSU — Jr. RHP Justin Meier (1-2, 3.81 ERA, 28.1 IP, 10 BB, 25 SO)
SU — TBA